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#517706 - 09/21/16 11:56 AM Today's Belize News: September 21, 2016
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Happy 35th Independence Day!!!!


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro celebrates Noche Centroamericana
San Pedro is home to many people, including migrants from various Central American communities. In celebrating the diversity on the island, the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hosted Central America’s and Mexico’s Independence Celebrations on Saturday, September 17th. The event took place across the Honorable Louis Slyvestre Sports Complex as part of the SPTC’s September Celebrations Calendar of activities. While Mexico celebrated their 206th independence on Friday, September 16th, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica celebrated 195 years of freedom on Thursday, September 15th. All of these countries gained their independence from Spain. (Belize is the only nation to gain independence from Great Britain on September 21, 1981). In attendance at the special event were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr, Miss San Pedro 2016-2017 Marisha Thompson, Pastor Clive Welsh, and other community members. Alex Noralez was the Master of Ceremonies, and giving the invocation was Pastor Welsh.

Lions and Leos observe National Service Day
The late Right Honorable George Cadle Price is the founding father of Belize, and to honor him, ‘National Service Day’ is held in honor of him on September 19th. This is a day where people participate in community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service, and a tribute to Price himself, who was known for his ethics and servitude. On Monday, September 19th, the San Pedro Lions Club paid tribute to the Father of our Nation in a special flag raising ceremony that began at 7AM at the Lions Den. The ceremony was followed by a prayer and singing of the National Anthem. Afterwards, members and guests gathered to enjoy a small social and breakfast. All four of the Lions Clubs across the country participated in similar activities to honor Rt. Hon. George Price.

Island children celebrate Belize
As part of September Celebrations, primary and secondary schools across San Pedro Town celebrated Belize’s 35th Anniversary on Friday, September 16th. At 9AM, primary school students, educators, parents and volunteers gathered at San Pedro Roman Catholic School to march on Barrier Reef and Pescador Drive to demonstrate patriotic pride. They were led by SPRC’s majorettes dancing to the beating percussion sounds of SPRC’s drum line. Participants proudly wore red, white and blue attire as they chanted their love for the country. Meanwhile, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports hosted their annual Children’s Rally at the Angel Nunez Auditorium. Students of San Pedro High School (SPHS), along with Standard Five and Six classes from each primary school were present for the special event. Honoring the theme “Sovereign and Strong- Together as One,” San Pedro District Officer, Nelma Jones spoke before the rally began.

National Garifuna Council on Ambergris Caye elects new board members
On Saturday, September 17th, Alex Noralez was elected as the new president for the National Garifuna Council (NGC) San Pedro Branch. During the election session new board members were also elected who will work along with Noralez in his tenure as head of the Council for the next two years. Other elected board members of the local chapter of the NGC include Virginia Melendez as Vice President, Eden Velasquez as Secretary, Elsy Guilty as Assistant Secretary, Elroy Castillo as Treasurer and Amancia Martinez as the Assistant Treasurer. After confirming that he was the elected president, Noralez thanked everyone who supported him in this new venture. He pledged to work arduously along with the new elected officials and the community. “I am elated to serve my people, and I look forward to working with all,” said Noralez. “As we promote our culture, we will organize so as to give our community and all visitors a true Garifuna culture experience.”

Ambergris Today

Toucan Gift Shops Donate Motorcycle to San Pedro Police
Gus Tabony was accompanied by his staff of Toucan Gift Shops at the San Pedro Town Hall this morning, Tuesday, August 9,, 2016, to present the Council a new Honda motorcycle. On hand to accept the donation was Mayor Daniel Guerrero who indicated that the motorcycle will be presented to the San Pedro Police Department to assist them in their patrolling of the island. Mayor Danny, extended his gratitude to Mr. Tabony after he had reached out to him for assistance.

Small Farmers Receive Crop Seeds After Hurricane Earl Damage
The International Regional Organization for Health in Agriculture (OIRSA) handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development eighty-two (82) packs of hybrid tomato and sweet pepper seeds as support to the small farmers that were affected by the passage of Hurricane Earl in early August of this year. The seeds included varieties of sweet pepper and tomato that are tolerant to whitefly transmitted Gemini virus, late producing varieties and are high yielding.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Benque Viejo School Children Parade
Tuesday morning September 19th all the Benque area schools gathered at Centennial Park, Mayor of Benque Viejo H.E. Heraldo Ramcharan Jr, gave words of inspiration to the children and the Mount Carmel Dancers provided some entertainment. The parade preceded through the Major streets of Benque, 1000’s From the Pre-School children up to High School age children, parents and guests celebrated this year’s theme, “sovereign and strong together as one”, of Belize’s 35th year of independence. Cpl. Joshua McKoy from the community policing unit always an active role model in our parades with leading the future protectors and leader of tomorrow.

Do Not Miss the End of the World Marathon in Placencia Village
The fifth annual End of the World Marathon is scheduled to start at 5:30 AM on December 4, 2016 in Placencia Village. Runners will be competing in both a half and full marathon, and all proceeds raised from the event will go towards providing high school scholarships to local children on the Placencia Peninsula. In 2012, when the planet was gripped with Maya mania thanks to a popular interpretation that calendars produced by that culture were predicting the end of the world on December 21, running enthusiasts in Placencia organized the End of the World Marathon. The event was designed to allow runners to experience the gorgeous natural beauty of the peninsula while simultaneously celebrating the potential end of the universe as we know it. Well, the world did not end on December 21, 2012, and the marathon has now become a beloved local institution. The full marathon starts in Placencia Village with runners making a complete loop of the peninsula while the half marathon starts at the northern tip of the peninsula at the north end of Maya Beach with all runners competing to be the first to cross the finish line in Placencia Village.

Line up and Route details for the 2016 San Pedro Independence Day Parade
Here is the Line up and Route details for the 2016 Independence Day Parade - Wednesday, September 21st, starting at 10:00 a.m. from the Boca del Rio area and ending at Central Park with a live performance by Gilharry 7 and Color Powder Party!

Education our youth on natural resources uses and management
Today's youths, have an enormous responsibility on their shoulders. It's hoped by all, that the youths will be better decision makers in the future in terms of natural resources uses and management. Therefore, increasing their knowledge or educating youths on the importance of the natural resources; especially marine protected areas such as Turneffe Atoll Marine Reserve, is very important. Its very important for Government Institutions and NGOs focused on natural resources management in Belize to teach them how blessed we are to have these beauty of nature and how important they are to our livelihoods. Showing to the youth the work being done to manage these natural resources, the threats, challenges, and how they can contribute to these initiative is a must. So let us continue the hard work and keep educating our youths. Thanks to the personnel of Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Change Adaptation Project (MCCAP), Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC), Ecology Project International (EPI), and Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) for inviting the Turneffe Atoll Sustainability Association be part of the Chunox St. Viator Vocational High School educational visit.

September Celebrations Calendar of events for Corozal Town
Tuesday Sep. 20th and Wednesday Sep. 21st :- Tuesday, Sep. 20th - Independence Day Eve 1) Carnival Parade - 1;00 P.M.-6;00 P.M. - Corozal Town Carnival Judging Ricalde Stadium 2) Cultural Night - 8:00 P.M. 10:00 P.M. - Andres Campos Civic Center 3) Official Ceremonies - 11:00 P.M. - Andres Campos Civic Center 4) Firework/Dance - 12:00 Midnight - Andres Campos Civic Center Wednesday, Sep. 21st - Independence Day 1) Official Ceremony and Crowning of Miss Independence - 9:00 A.M. - Andres Campos Civic Center 2) Uniform Parade & Citizens Parade - ( no time given) - Corozal Town 3) Beach Bash/Dance - 6:00 P.M. - 12:00 A.M. - Miami Beach All events are free of charge. We take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy and Safe Independence Day September Celebrations. Keep Corozal Safe and Clean!

Tribute to Belizean Patriots program
On the eve of our 35th year of independence, here are the men and women honored in the 2016 Tribute to Belizean Patriots program. Photos by Will Moreno Photography

$150,000 worth of musical instruments to the National Youth Orchestra and Choir
The new Ambassador of Korea to Belize, H.E. Lee In-ho, officially handed over US $150,000 worth of musical instruments to the National Youth Orchestra and Choir of Belize! On hand to receive the donation were Governor General Sir Colville Young, and Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. Check out this video!

The Museum of Belize (NICH) staff decided to give back on National Service Day!
The Museum of Belize (NICH) National Service Day initiative 2016 at the Dorothy Menzies Child Care's Library/Activity Room!

Corozal: refurbishing the historical monument at Soldiers Park
The Corozal House of Culture is honoured to be refurbishing the historical monument at Soldiers Park here in Corozal Town as part of National Service Day activities. Coordinator Ms. Debra Wilkes and artist Mr. Benjamin Cal are spending a couple of days working on the preservation of our tangible heritage. It was created in Merida, Mexico in the 1960's.

Banquitas House of Culture 14th Anniversary celebrated
Banquitas 14th Anniversary was celebrated yesterday September 19th, 2016 under the theme " Celebrating all things Belize". We must take this opportunity to thank Mr. Jose Vasquez, Mr. Armando Valdez and Mr. Jaime Pelayo for imparting their wealth of knowledge of the History of Belize and the Etiquette of the Belize Flag. I big thank you to the Master of Ceremony Mr. Louigie Gomez A day well spent with some of the community members, and students who played a major role in our journey of continued development.

Luna the spectacle owl
Roni Martinez and Jonathan Urbina presenting Luna the spectacle owl..!!! Isn't she a beauty..!!!????

San Pedro: Restricted parking tomorrow
Please avoid parking on Laguna Drive, Pescador Drive and Barrier Reef Drive between the hours of 10am and 12md.on the 21st. This will allow the parade to pass easily and add to the enjoyment of all. Thanks and Happy Independence day Belize.

Balché, Maya alcohilic drink
Today many people enjoy a nice alcoholic drink, from the many choices that exist, beer or wine, gin or vodka. The ancient Maya enjoyed a drink called Balché, made from the bark of a legume tree that produces lilac-colored flowers. The bark was soaked in water and honey, which begins to ferment right away. The resulting libation was used during rituals and was thought to bring magical powers. When the Spanish came they banned consumption of the drink as they were converting the Maya to Christianity, but the Maya managed to convince the Spanish that Balché had health properties and that the people were dying as a result of the ban. Believing the drink to be a gift from the gods, who were the first to be intoxicated, and the people who partook had to imitate the gods in their state of inebriation.

United Arab Emirates and Belize Meet to Discuss Trade, Fisheries and Climate Change
Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development Hon. Gaspar Vega, met with his counterpart, His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment (also responsible for Agriculture and Fisheries) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In addition, Minister of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce Hon. Erwin Contreras participated in the joint meeting to identify investment and trade opportunities, common experiences in managing the environment, and ensuring sustainable development. At the meeting the Ministers discussed climate change and natural disasters, such as the impact of Hurricane Earl on the productive sector of Belize, and that 90% of the UAE’s water now comes from desalination projects. They were pleased to hear of the work of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize and spoke of funding provided to CARICOM to combat climate change.

Hon. Gaspar Vega's Statement at the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit
Belize offers our clear appreciation to the outgoing Chair, the Islamic Republic of Iran, for the skill with which they conducted the work of the NAM in the past four years. Now, it is with great pleasure that Belize congratulates and welcomes the new Chair – the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. We are confident that Venezuela will continue to steer the work of the NAM in the pursuit of a more peaceful and just world for all. We support their strategic vision in hosting this summit. We remind members that the value that we extract from this forum is proportional only to the vision that we are willing to bring to this fine table as leaders and thinkers. Chair, thank you, for the abundance of warmth and goodwill Venezuela has demonstrated in its preparations for this encounter – it is mirrored by the warmth and beauty of Isla Margarita.

San Pedro: Who's ready for tomorrow?! After the parade Color Powder Party with Gilharry 7! Don't miss out the flying piñata too!
The San Pedro Town Council would like to thank everyone for assisting all the events in celebration of Belize’s Independence. We are really grateful for your cooperation and understanding when we decided to postpone the parade to a later date due to weather conditions. We would like to applaud all those who participated in the parade; this was only possible because of you. Thanks to your beautiful and elaborate costumes and decorations, San Pedro had a great and successful Independence Parade. Special thanks to Island Films for documenting the parade for us, Astrum Helicopters for helping us revive the Flying Piñata tradition, the San Pedro Music & Dance Academy for their high spirit and charm, and DJ Debbie for always making us have a great time!

Scarlet wishes all a safe and proud Independence Day
Today Scarlet paraded with children in the village of Bullet Tree.

The BTB Kiosk at the Western Border sharing the September spirit

Channel 7

GOB And AA Fight Over Compensation In USD: CCJ Says Work It Out
For almost 2 months, the attorneys for the Government of Belize and the Ashcroft Alliance have been preparing for a hearing before the Caribbean Court of Justice. As we told you in July, they've settled the Government takeover of BTL, and the bill for it to be nationalized is a half a billion dollars. But, they still can't agree how the award should be paid. On July 13, the Barrow Government made the first half of the payment of just over 130 million dollars in Belize currency, and just over 30 million dollars in US currency. The problem is that the Ashcroft Alliance is complaining that this was not what they signed in the Settlement agreement at the Permanent Council on Arbitration. They say that payment should be strictly in US currency, but Government had a different interpretation and paid the majority in Belizean dollars.

Court: Settlement Was Poorly Drafted
As you heard, the attorneys for the Government and the Ashcroft Alliance are expected to try to make earnest attempts at settling the payment terms out-of-court. If they cannot do so, they will go back before the CCJ on next week Thursday, when the court will give a decision. But, should this currency fight between them actually be happening? That's what we asked both sides because we told you, this fight has been ongoing for 7 years now. The Settlement at the Permanent Council on Arbitration was supposed to the end-all for the BTL saga. But, in less than a month after it was finalized, the Government and Ashcroft were back to quarrelling before the Court. Well, after the CCJ heard from both attorneys on their diverging interpretation, the judges found the source of the problem: they say the BTL settlement agreement was poorly drafted. The attorneys, trying to anticipate all the variables surrounding this settlement, tried to tie up all loose ends. What they ended up doing, however, is to create a confounding mess of clauses which is open to different interpretations, based on which side is reading the document.

Did GOB Ignore Letter of Agreement by Paying in BZD?
According to Government Attorney Denys Barrow, that was the reason why the Government completely ignored the Ashcroft Alliance's terms for the first partial payment. Instead of paying in US currency - as requested by the Alliance, they decided to pay the majority of it in Belizean dollars. Today, we challenged him on that, and here's how he put it: Denys Barrow, Attorney for GOB: "It called for the first 50% to be made purely in US Dollars and purely on the assumption that what would be left in the other 50% would be sufficient to yield the accommodation agreement value. That turned out to be wrong and therefore government decided you can't get 50% in US dollars. You will get only 50% of that US dollar portion that you are due now."

Reserves Reserved For Who?
Today, the topic of the Country's Foreign Reserves did come up in the hearing. But, the CCJ judges didn't appear too impressed by the argument that the Central Bank Governor is worried that to pay out 70 million dollars more in US currency will strain Belize's foreign obligations to the breaking point. You'll remember that letter that Glenn Ysaguirre wrote to Financial Secretary Joseph Waigh back in July saying quote, "…It is necessary to advise all concerned that it would be destructive for the economy of Belize if the Central Bank were to even attempt to facilitate any such requests to facilitate for an additional amount of foreign currency, given the currently level of official foreign reserves and other external demands facing the bank…the Central Bank…must…exercise careful management of the international reserves by balancing the foreign exchange needs of the Government against those of the domestic banking system, and the wider private sector. " End Quote.

GOB Will Have to Go Into Red To Make Second Payment
And, while the Foreign Reserves may not be able to accommodate this US currency payment, the Financial Secretary told us today that to make the second payment next year, the Government will have to borrow 150 million dollars. Here's how he explained it: Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: "The unfortunate thing is that we would have to borrow the money to pay it and then that increase your debt and that increases your debt service. If you have to borrow another 150 million for the next payment, and you borrow money at 3%, you are looking at 4.5 million dollars more in debt service and of course you have to repay. So it adds up very quickly." Daniel Ortiz: "Are you saying at this time that the government will have to borrow to make the next payment?" Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary: "Yes."

Man Guilty For Thrashing Laptop Of Male Friend
Jason Garcia pleaded guilty to common assault and damage to property yesterday in the Magistrate's Court. Garcia was charged for beating his male friend, Maurice Middleton, and setting his laptop, valued at $600, on fire. According to Middleton, Garcia punched him in the back of his head and stomped on his stomach before leaving and sending a text to end the relationship. Garcia was charged $300 for common assault, and $600 in compensation for the burnt laptop.

Staine With A 9
Ernest Staine also made an appearance in court today and was charged with unlicensed possession of a 9mm pistol and 14 rounds of ammunition. On Saturday, September 17th, police were patrolling Giles Street when they spotted a suspicious looking Staine, and stopped to search him. It was then that police found the firearm and ammunition, and after failure to produce a license he was arrested.

Compol Says Cop Was Wrong To Fire In Crowded Area
Last night we told you about the Eastern Division South officer Kris Staine. He is the Carnival Cop who fired a shot in the air on Princess Margret Drive as the Carnival was passing, causing public terror. Today Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie conceded that the cop made a bad move to discharge his weapon and is being dealt with. As you heard, Staine has been placed on interdiction. Multiple accounts say that other persons also fired shots around that same stretch of road, but police say no one was injured and no complaints have been recorded.

Whylie Not Sure Who Authorised Mason's Gun Licenses
The last time we spoke with Commissioner Whylie we asked him what we had asked several other high ranking officers and politicians: If he knew the infamous William Danny Mason. He said he had never even met the guy. But did Commissioner Whylie approve Mason's several gun licenses, and were sufficient background cheques done? We know there's a Mason police criminal record without any passport number. Today we asked Whylie if he signed these licenses and if he knew about these omissions. On another note, we also asked Whylie if he got his copy of the Auditor General's report yet, and he said he still hasn't received it.

Labour Senator Lambastes Education Minister
Only a few of the speeches from yesterday's BNTU demonstration that actually highlighted the union's demands for better governance. But the majority of the speeches just seemed to reflect all that bad blood between the Ministry and the teachers. Labor senator Elena Smith surely unleashed all that rage on the Civic Center Stage. Here is an excerpt from her presentation. Hon. Elena Smith, NTUCB: "Now teachers we have been hearing a lot of things in the news lately and one of things they said was is that teacher's don't think about their children, all they do is think about themselves. Well, how many of you did lesson plans this weekend, who made charts? Who bought a marker? a pens, a pencil, a sharpener and eraser, paint. Now I wish that those persons who are in the leadership of our ministry would take the time to visit our classrooms but if you notice something, some of us are not important, we are like animal farm, some schools are more important than others, but despite the fact that no other than our minister, the same little man, little man like Zacchaeus, you know the story of Zacchaeus right?

Finsec Says GOB Can't Afford Teacher's Raise
So, while that's the rage that the teachers have for their Minister, a part of their grievance with the Prime Minister is that he has asked them to defer the third tranche of their salary adjustment. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight was in that meeting with the joint unions which happened on last Friday. Neither the Prime Minister nor the union representatives wanted to get into too detail since they wanted to give the Unions a chance to return to their constituents about a proposal that the Government tabled. Today, we asked Waight to share a few more details about the nature of this new proposal. He discussed it briefly with us: The 3 unions will give another response to the Prime Minister after consulting with their members.

BPP Says PUP Should Pay Their Fines For Late Filing of Integrity Reports
Yesterday - on National Service Day - the PUP made a big show out of filing their assets with the Integrity Commission's Secretary in Belmopan. Well, Belize's 3rd Party, the BPP says it was quote, "a classic case of concocted deception." But more than that, the BPP says that - if they are serious - the PUP should pay fines for late filing. That's $100.00 dollars per day for every day after the filing deadline, and there's also a $3,000.00 and $5,000.00 fine for first and second offenses. The BPP urges the PUP to commence paying the applicable fines.??

Vega Supports Maduro At NAM Summitt
Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega and Economic Development Minister Erwin Contreras just wrapped up at the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Venezuela. Vega, who also used the opportunity to meet with embattled President Nicolas Maduro, praised the Petrocaribe initiative as quote, "regionalist, internationalist, pro-people and pro-poor." The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of 120 nations which is not formally aligned with any major power bloc. The group issued a 190 page statement at the end of the two-day meeting urging world powers - especially the USA - not to meddle in other countries' affairs and voicing concern over violence in Syria, Iraq and the Palestinian Territories. The summit also bolstered President Maduro who has been isolated internationally and under intense pressure domestically.

"Marijuana Pon Di Corner" Of the Jailcell?
A prisoner appeared in Magistrates Court yesterday after marijuana was found in his cell. The Hattieville Police were called to the Belize Central Prison on Sunday, September 18, were Dean Dawson Jr. was handed over to them along with four ounces of weed. Dawson plead not guilty to charges of drug trafficking, and his case was adjourned until November 23.

Korea Comes Up With Major Musical Donaiton
Today at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Governor General Sir Colville Young received a donation of instruments on behalf of the National Youth Orchestra of Belize. The donation was made by the newly appointed South Korean Ambassador to Belize, Lee In-ho. Now we aren't talking about a guitar and drums here, these are rare and exquisite instruments, including a Yamaha Baby Grand, a Glockenspiel and a Contrabassoon. Minister of State for Culture, Elodio Aragon received the instruments, along with some members of the orchestra and 7News was there: Hon. Elodio Aragon: "We got a hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth in equipment, equipment for the orchestra. This came from South Korea. The ambassador was here this morning as you all saw, and he officially handed over the equipment to us today. And you know, it's something good for Belize, because these are very expensive equipment, and to come up with $150,000 for such equipment is not an everyday thing. This equipment will be put to good use for the Belize orchestra, and I think it will be something good for us to get more people involved in the music industry in terms of the orchestra and playing these musics and learning the equipment."

Why Whylie Wanted Wingle
A 2017 "Wingle 5" was handed over to the Eastern Division North Police formation today. Now we have reported on several police vehicle donations, but for a department which is always struggling to find proper transport, every set of wheels helps. And, after Hurricane Earl did in two of their Wingle's , they definitely need this new ride. Today at a ceremony Senior Superintendent Linden Flowers discussed how significant this contribution is. The 2017 Wingle costs $28,000 duty free. Caribbean Motors along with Smart, A and R and other sponsors made this donation possible.

On The Lookout For NEMO
Waiting for NEMO - that's what the folks at Marsha Smith's home on Dolphin Street have been doing since Hurricane Earl hauled and pulled their house which rested on stilts. And as is now well known, they waited too long for that NEMO visit because on Friday, the stilts slipped out of their tiny straps and fell on 20 persons who were preparing carnival costumes. 39 year old Mother of 3 Deborah Humes died due to the injuries she received in that accident. But, smith says like the other revelers, she was aware of the risks - but it's just that the house is the headquarters for the Soca Moca Camp - and they had nowhere else to go: When we checked today, NEMO still had not reached Marsha's address.

IDB Loans Big Money For Waste Management
Yesterday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the IDB's General Manager for Central America, Gina Montiel signed a loan agreement for US$10 million. The funds will be used to finance transport, recovery, and disposal of public waste in Belmopan and towns and villages in the north and south of the country. As part of the 5-year program, six existing dumpsites will be closed and replaced with transfer stations, and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill will be expanded and upgraded. The Solid Waste Management Authority will administer the project, and Government will provide US$200,000 in counterpart funding.

Channel 5

Dunkeld and Government Told to Work Out B.T.L. Settlement
A three-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) this morning advised attorneys representing Dunkeld International Investments, The B.T.L. Employees Trust and the Government of Belize to work out [...]

Did Government Underpay the First Instalment of Arbitration Award?
The Government has said that the tribunal divided the award into a forty-sixty ratio; forty percent of the total representing the non-Accommodation Agreement portion and sixty percent representing the Accommodation [...]

Government’s Move to Sidestep Provision of Agreement Backfired
It was left to Senior Counsel Denys Barrow to defend Government’s actions. He explained that Government assumed that whatever was left in the second payment would be sufficient to cover [...]

How Will B.T.L. Arbitration Affect Belize’s Currency Position?
There were differing views on whether the Government can adhere to paying the remaining portion of the award due to Dunkeld in U.S. dollars, and should have paid the first [...]

Financial Secretary Confirms Government Must Borrow Millions More for Arbitration Award
But the concern over the cash crunch is real for Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, who confirmed that Government must borrow further to complete the second payment for the B.T.L. Arbitration [...]

Junior Minister Has No Qualms with B.N.T.U. Belmopan Demonstration
On Monday, thousands of teachers demonstrated in Belmopan in their Stand Up For Belize Campaign. Among the many national issues ventilated was the Auditor General’s report on the Immigration Department [...]

Elodio Aragon Jr. Warns Teachers over Consequences of Actions
Across the country, some schools were opened, but classrooms were empty and in other cases, the buildings were closed for the day. Still yet, we found students at some schools, [...]

Commissioner of Police Comments on Danny Mason’s Gun Licenses
The last time we spoke with the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, he was asked about the case on accused murderer William “Danny” Mason. Whylie’s response was that it was [...]

ComPol says Interdicted Police Officer in Carnival Incident Showed “Poor Judgment”
Kris Staine has been identified as the off-duty police constable that fired a shot in the air as the carnival road march was coming to an end on Saturday afternoon.  [...]

FinSec discusses Government’s Salary Adjustment Deferral Proposal
The Government continues to deal with the third and final tranche of salary adjustments, which it has asked to be deferred until next year as a result of damages caused [...]

Damages from Hurricane Earl Could Reach Hundreds of Millions in Dollars
While we had the Financial Secretary on hand, he was asked critical questions on the state of the Belizean economy and the ever-expanding debt obligations that Belize must meet. His [...]

Superbond Step-up is Coming, Warns Financial Secretary
The so-called “Superbond” was restructured in March of 2013, a year after Prime Minister Dean Barrow won a second term mainly on his pledge to do so. It’s now been [...]

P.U.P. Contends Government Cannot Name Composition or Chair of Senate Committee
Last Tuesday Cabinet caved in and the Prime Minister announced the government was prepared to support a senate select inquiry into the Special Audit Report of the Auditor General on [...]

Cabinet Minister Confirms Executive Now Accepts Senate Select Committee
Cabinet minister Elodio Aragon Junior was also asked today about the Immigration investigation. He told News Five that at last Tuesday’s meeting, all ministers agreed to the senate select inquiry. [...]

Gay Partner Pleads Guilty to Domestic Assault and Damage to Property
The August tenth decision of the Supreme Court on Section Fifty-Three of the Criminal Code has led to some gay couples becoming more open about their domestic disputes and going [...]

BATSUB Will Discipline Officer Involved in Fatal Traffic Accident
There was a fatal accident involving an officer attached to the British Army Training and Support Unit Belize, BATSUB. Police visited the Dream Light Nightclub at mile one and half [...]

South Korea Government Makes Donation to National Youth Orchestra
A wide assortment of musical instruments was handed over to the National Youth Orchestra by the Korean Government this morning at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. There are [...]

Northside Businesses Contribute Vehicle to Eastern Division North Police
Just at about the same time that Korea was making that donation, the Police Department was also receiving a significant contribution. Four businesses teamed up to provide the department with [...]

Revisiting the Dawn of Belizean Independence in 1981
On this anniversary of Independence Day, we go back to that glorious day in 1981 when Belize became a fully fledged nation.  There were official parades and the hoisting of [...]

LOVE FM

BTL Arbitration Case Back in the Supreme Court
The BTL Arbitration issue continues and today the parties were back in court. Two issues that the parties could not agree on were what percentage of the payments should go to public funds and the currency in which the payments should be made. The Caribbean Court of Justice held a hearing at the Supreme Court […]

Managing the Super Bond; Waight Says It’s the Heaviest Financial Burden
Financial Secretary Joseph Waight spoke about the status of Belize’s national debt stating that the Super Bond is the heaviest financial burden for the country. Waight talks about how Belize will manage the Super Bond. Waight also spoke about other debts the government has; the teacher’s increments and the hurricane financial loss. He stated that […]

Preliminary Figures Revealed for Damages by Earl
Hurricane Earl left behind a string of damages, including loss of property and crops. The government is yet to release a figure for the total financial loss. Today, Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight gave us what the preliminary financial figures look like. Waight estimates that by next fiscal year they would have recovered from Earl’s financial […]

Luke Says Faber Attempted Union Busting
As we mentioned, the majority of educators from around the country disregarded the Ministry of Education’s warning that their pay may be docked if they abandoned the classrooms to attend the protest organized by the Belize National Teachers Union. In yesterday’s march to the Civic Centre the teachers chanted that they did not care about […]

Aragon Has No Prob with Senate Select Committee
Last week, after pressure from several sectors of society, the Government of Belize officially endorsed the idea of having an appointed Senate Select Committee to investigate the findings of the Auditor General Special Report. Government had previously supported a bi-cameral body to do the investigation. Today Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports, Elodio Aragon Jr., […]

New Ambassadors to Belize Call Upon the Governor General
Four ambassadors presented their credentials to Governor General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young. His Excellency Jorge Roza de Oliveira, Ambassador of Portugal, Her Excellency Margriet Leemhuis, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Her Excellency Malgorzata Wasilewska, Ambassador of the European Union; and His Excellency Lee In-ho, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea presented […]

Compol Says Police Officer Got Interdicted for Firing Warning Shots
The shooting by an off duty police that happened near the end of the carnival on Saturday evening, created panic among the onlookers. Today Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie spoke about the issue and the charges brought against the Police Officer, Kris Stein. Stein claims that he only fired one shot in the air, but […]

Compol Weighs in on Pakeman and Cocaine
The case involving Chief Press Officer, Dorian Pakeman has caused much speculation. The first shocker came when the sample taken from Pakeman on the night of the accident, proved positive for cocaine. Then, allegations surged that the sample may have been tampered with. Today Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie commented on the issue. The accident […]

Caribbean Motors Adds to Police’s Fleet
This morning Caribbean motors made a donation of a brand new 2017 Great Wall Wingle to the Police Department. Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dezeree Phillips, who commands the Eastern Division North stated that the donation will help the department respond to emergencies. Leroy Gentle representing Caribbean Motors expressed that Caribbean Motors is honored to help […]

Hundreds Head North for Orange Walk Carnival
It’s Independence eve today and Belizeans are getting ready to celebrate Belize’s 35th anniversary as a sovereign nation. Tomorrow, in the municipality of Orange Walk, a carnival road march will be held. Kendra Anderson, Administrative Assistant for the Orange Walk Town Council told us more. Ceremonies will be held in front of the Orange Walk […]


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#517707 - 09/21/16 11:56 AM Re: Today's Belize News: September 21, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

Teachers return to the classroom on Tuesday after demonstration
Over a thousand teachers and members of the Belize National Teachers Union BNTU converged in Belmopan on Monday for a rally and demonstration. Their rally started at the Belmopan Civic Center which was followed around midday by a march that ended in the surrounds of the National Assembly Building. At the rally, leading figures such as Cristina Coc, Louise Wade and Evan Mose Hyde spoke to the teachers, some of whom were dressed in their T-Shirts stating, “Teachaz gat yuh back.”In keeping with the requirements of permission given from the police to have their demonstration, teachers dispersed peacefully at about 1:00 pm after the singing of the National Anthem. Some teachers held placards stating, “A peaceful constructive revolution.”The president of the BNTU Luke Palacio told reporters that the BNTU has instructed its members to go back to school on Tuesday. He said that the plans for further industrial action on Thursday and Friday of this week has been put on hold as the Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow will be meeting with BNTU’s Council of Management this Thursday.

Tragedy strikes Soca Moca Carnival Band
Soca Moca, the Defending Carnival Road March Champions suffered a terrible tragedy a few hours before the 2016 Carnival. Marsha Smith’s Dolphin Street home collapsed on top of 15 or so of the masquerade band members, killing 38 year-old Deborah Humes. That incident happened at around 4 p.m. on Friday, September 16, when Smith, an active member of the band, was assisting the other members with their costumes for road march.The house was left with some structural weakening after Hurricane Earl, and on Friday, it simply gave way. The Stilts broke, and the house came crashing down on top of Soca Moca revelers. Deborah Smith was the most seriously injured when one of the cross beams crushed her with the weight of the structure. She was rushed to the KHMH for emergency medical treatment, but she passed away a few hours later.

We expect the PUP’s to declare everything they own
So the PUP Parliamentarians showed up in Belmopan on the same day, time and place the BNTU was holding a protest march and rally, that used the same name and theme, the PUP had used for their protest and rally only a few weeks earlier. However what was even funnier was the reason they claimed they were there. According to them they were there to file the declaration of their assets with the Secretary of the Integrity Commission. After hearing that, we had to check our calendar and call a few friends to ask what date it was, because Monday’s PUP sojourn to Belmopan really had us thinking, that it was All Fools Day, April 1st. We later found out that it was actually the anniversary of the signing of the Accommodation Agreement 19th September 2005!

Governor General honours 21 distinguished Belizeans
It was extremely disheartening to witness the contestants of the Miss Belize Pageant all march up to the stage and speak of their favourite national hero, George Cadle Price. Disheartening not because of their choice but because it makes one think that there was only one Belizean ever worthy of being called a national hero. This is far from the case. Belize has had countless heroes in our brief history. On Thursday, September 15, another 21 such distinguished men and women were honoured at the 2016 Tribute to Belizean Patriots at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. The National Honours and Awards Act was passed on August 16th, 1991. It says that each year honours and awards may be conferred to individuals, living or dead, who may have rendered outstanding and meritorious service to Belize. This year, 19 individuals received Meritorious Service Awards and two received Orders of Distinction.

NEMO justifying a Salary Deferral!
The Prime Minister has asked union members represented by the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), the Public Service Union (PSU)and the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) to defer a third tranche of salary increase that is due them until April of 2017.The request came as the Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance has to find money in order to assist people in the aftermath of Hurricane Earl. And the request is not being unreasonable as already thousands of Belizeans have received assistance through NEMO with contractors being hired to repair and replace homes. NEMO is also Running a well organized system of assistance delivery through the purchasing and overseeing of the delivery of entire houses, they are not very large but the new homeowners are appreciative of the gesture as it does place them in a far better position than they were before.

Four ambassadors present credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Four ambassadors presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young today, Monday, at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan.The Governor General welcomed and received the credentials of H.E Jorge Roza de Oliveira, Ambassador of Portugal; H.E. Margriet Leemhuis, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; H.E. Malgorzata Wasilewska, Ambassador of the European Union; and H.E. Lee In-ho, Ambassador of the Republic of South Korea. The Governor General also welcomed H.E. Muktesh Pardeshi, High Commissioner of India to Mexico, who paid a courtesy call.The ambassadors expressed their pleasure in being in Belize and congratulated the country on its 35th year as an independent nation. Each ambassador conveyed their country’s intention to continue to develop their diplomatic relations with Belize.

Churches file appeal against CJ ruling on Section 53
The Catholic Diocese in Belize has publicly applauded the Barrow Government for fulfilling their commitment and filing their appeal of the Section 53 judgment. With that follow through, the Catholic Church and National Evangelical Churches of Belize will be able to mount their challenge of the judgment which makes gay sex and other “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” legal.Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke filed the Government’s partial appeal document on Friday, September 16 at the Court, which now makes it a live issue. Later that same day, the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB) and the Catholic Church followed through as well.

National Day of Disservice
A few years ago the government of Belize, under the leadership of Prime Minister Rt. Hon Dean Barrow, who is also the leader of the UDP decided to honor the memory of the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price, Belize’s first Prime Minister. This was done in the form of declaring the 19th September, the date of George Price’s death as National Service Day. Monday of this week was National Service Day and in typical PUP fashion rather than honoring the memory of George Price, the Patriarch of the PUP chose to dishonor his memory with a demonstration organized by them through one of their operatives, Luke Palacio, a former PUP Deputy Mayor and Councilor of the Punta Gorda Town Council.This move by the PUP effectively kept the children out of school for Monday. What better service could a nation’s people give to it than to educate it’s children. Keeping those thousand or so teachers out of the classroom robbed the children of a valuable day of education and a chance for the very same children to do something to honor the Rt. Hon. George Price.

Despite loss of life, Soca Moca perseveres
Carnival 2016 started with storm clouds, rain and frightening thunder. The downpour started about ten minutes before 1 o’ clock, when the road march was scheduled to move off. It pounded the king and queen costumes that were set in position and caused damages to several of them. The amped up revelers were quickly soaked and shivering. Kids packed tightly into chinese grocery shops in order to shelter. Adults hid under trucks, trees and anything they could find to avoid the full onslaught of the rain. Carnival Road March 2016 was off to a terrible start. The storm clouds, rain and thunder were also metaphors for a more sad narrative. The Carnival Road March was under the shadow of a tragic incident that took place less than 24 hours earlier. Veteran reveler Debbie Humes died when the Soca Moca Mas Camp site collapsed on top of individuals who were hanging out and preparing mud for jouvert and costumes for the road march. Numerous carnival enthusiasts were injured and Humes paid the ultimate price. The Belize Carnival Association (BCA) held an emergency meeting after the incident and all the bands, including Soca Moca, agreed that they will proceed with the road march and do so in honour of Debbie Humes, “who loved Carnival,” said Sandra Mahler, President of the BCA.

Social partners matter - PM meets with unions
Proving that the UDP Government values its relationship with the Social Partners, the Prime Minister has held back-to-back meetings with 6 different unions. 8 Days before he sat down and spoke with the leaders of the Churches, and it was decided that the Government will appeal the Section 53 judgment by the Chief Justice. That’s the famous decision which now allows for gay intimacy, among other consensual acts in the bedroom, to be decriminalized.The Government has made it abundantly clear that it will not appeal the substantive judgment, because it does not believe it is in the public interest to do so. By the act of appealing the decision, however, it allows for interested parties, namely the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelicals, to challenge the judgment itself. The Utility Unions, the Belize Energy Workers Union, the Belize Communication Workers Union, and the Belize Water Services Workers Union, were in solidarity with the Evangelical Churches, who had been demanding that the Government appeal. Now that the Barrow Administration has decided to do so, the Prime Minister sought an audience out with them on Friday, September 16. He no doubt communicated this to them directly, and he addressed whatever inquiries they may have had.

Belize to Improve Solid Waste Sites in the North and South
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the General Manager for the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Central America, Mexico, Panama and Dominican Republic Country Department, Ms. Gina Montiel, today signed an IDB loan agreement to finance investments to improve the transport, recovery and final disposal of solid waste in towns and villages in Belize’s northern and southern corridors as well as in Belmopan.Through the five-year program, which is valued at US$10 million, major tourist destinations in Belize will be provided access to a sanitary landfill. The project will cover the expansion of the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill, including the construction of a new cell for final disposal; the closure of six (6) existing dumpsites which will be replaced with transfer stations; and the strengthening of the Solid Waste Management Authority (SWaMA) as the lead agency in the waste management sector.

Carlton Belisle remanded for attempted murder
Hattieville resident Carlton Belisle is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was arraigned for robbing and trying to kill Francisco Reyes. Allegations are that Belisle took away a Samsung cellular phone valued at $255 from Reyes on August 5, 2016 and attacked him with a machete later that same day. The injuries to Reyes were serious and life threatening; therefore, Belisle was arrested for attempted murder.In court on Monday, September 19, Belisle was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser for charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and robbery upon Francisco Reyes. Belisle was unrepresented when he appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offenses, bail was denied. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 22, 2016.

PM’s Niece recovers after shooting
Prime Minister Barrow’s niece, 31 year-old Candace Anderson, continues to recover from gunshot injuries she suffered on Thursday, September 15.Police don’t think that she was the intended target, but due to very unlucky circumstances, she was shot by a gunman who fired into a group. According to police, the incident happened at around 1:30 p.m. on that day. She was reportedly socializing with a group of persons inside a yard on 7th Street. That’s when 2 men came along on motorcycle. One of them was armed, and he jumped off the bike, quickly entered the yard, and started firing at people who Anderson was in the company of. Nobody else was hurt, but unfortunately, she was injured in the left leg and the abdomen area. Persons present immediately rushed her to the Belize Medical Associates where the police found her.

Mother cleared of ammunition charge, threatens to sue
Romie Anthony, 47, a mother of three, and two of her children have finally been cleared of an ammunition charge and are home without uncertainty hanging over their heads. According to police, on Friday, July 6, 2012, they searched the Anthony residence at #7796 Lacroix Boulevard and found three 16-gauge shotgun cartridges in a black plastic bag in the flooring of the house. As a result, Romie Anthony, her son Amir Anthony, 24 at the time, and daughter, 14 at the time, were arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition. Bail could not be offered at the time due to the nature of the offense. The two adults were remanded to the Belize Central Prison and the minor was remanded at the Youth Hostel.

Teenager commits suicide in Benque
Residents from Benque are still in shock at the loss of one of their own, who was a promising youth in the prime of her life. Fifteen year old Ailene Gonzalez, a student at the Mopan Technical High School in Benque committed suicide on Saturday night of this past weekend.Benque Police visited number 70 Kennedy Street in Benque at about 6:32 pm on Saturday where they found Ailene Gonzalez lying on the floor motionless with a pink sheet hanging from the room door.Kayla Trujillo, a 36 year old Belizean Housewife reported that she was out with her other children leaving her daughter Ailene Gonzalez at home studying and on her return, she was unable to enter the house as both back and front doors were locked from the inside and music was playing aloud inside. Trujillo managed to gain access by damaging the screen door, which allowed one of her sons to enter, and opened the main door for her. Upon entering Ailene’s room, she saw Ailene hanging from the sheet. She managed to cut the sheet off her neck but by that time Ailene had no pulse.

Michael Williams fined for bad touch of a teenager
Michael Williams, 61, is extremely lucky that he was not thrown in jail for inappropriately touching an 18-year-old female against her will. The Tibruce Street resident allegedly touched the vagina of a teenager and she was so upset that she reported the matter to police requesting court action.Michael Williams was arrested and charged for aggravated assault of an indecent nature. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Friday, September 16, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He denied the allegation and said nothing like that ever happened. However, Senior Magistrate Fraser was of the belief that the facts of the case were enough to prove Williams was guilty as charged.

Belmopan Bandits blank Orange Walk United in Premier League competition
The Premier League of Belize 2016-2017 Opening Season Tournament continued over the weekend with four games on the schedule.On Saturday 17th September, 2016, at the MCC Grounds the host team the Belize Defence Force and the visiting Freedom Fighters played to a 2-2 draw.The Belize Defence Force (BDF FC) was the first to make it onto the scoreboard when Mark Arzu scored the 1st goal of the game in the 8th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead.The defence of the BDF protected that 1-0 lead well into the second half of the game before the visiting Freedom Fighters were able to penetrate its defence which allowed Alexander Peters to score the equalising goal for his team in the 57th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. The Freedom Fighters continued its mastery of the BDF defence when Lisbey Castillo scored the go-ahead goal in the 67th minute of play to give his team a 2-1 lead.

Belize Road Bullets win in Sugar City Hoops competition
The 2016 Sugar City Hoops Basketball Competition continued over the weekend at the East Sports Centre in Orange Walk Town over the weekend with a number of games.On Friday 16th September, in the U17 competition, Ever Ballaz edged out East Coast Ballerz by the score of 43-41.The top scorers for Ever Ballaz were Rasheed Reneau with 14 points, Shane Pollard with 9 points and Tyrique Dawson with 7 points. For the East Coast Ballerz, the top scorers were Javier Rosado Jr with 13 points, Kristan Puerto with 12 points and Norris Fisher with 10 points.In the U-25 competition, Belize Road Bullets over handily over the Devils by the score of 76-64. The top scorers for the Belize Road Bullets team were Andre Almendarez with 23 points, Brandon McKoy with 23 points and Hubert August with 11 points. For the Devils, the top scorers were Vicente Avila with 25 points, Leonard Jones with 17 points and Roman Alvarez with 7 points.

35 years of Independence
If one were to ask most Belizeans who are 45 years or older where they were at about 11:59 pm on Sunday, 20th September 1981, they would perhaps say they were at a Flag Raising Ceremony in their town or city or listings to it on radio, awaiting the stroke of midnight when the sirens would roar, fireworks would light up the sky, cannons would sound off , as the Union Jack would be lowered for the last time. In it’s place a brand new Belizean flag would be hoisted for the very first time. The new nation of Belize would be born. Although it all happened 35 years ago on that rainy September night, it is fresh in most of our minds as if though it happened a day or two ago.What followed on the 21st day was the actual reading of the proclamation and the delivery of the instrument that granted us our Independence from the United Kingdom .We unlike many of our Central American brothers and sisters did not have to go to war for our independence . For us it was gained without bloodshed.

J’ouvert stirs up the September spirit
This September has not had the usual energy that is normally associated with the month of celebrations. Significant events like Belikin Fest and Expo just seem to have snuck up and passed by. Some believe the lack of enthusiasm is due to post tramautic effects of Hurricane Earl. Others believe that it is based on the cumulative effect of hours and hours of negative news coverage. Whatever the cause, morale has been extremely low this September. Fortunately, Saturday, September 17, was J’ouvert morning, and along with treated mud, chocolate, powder and water, “jouvay” also brought a ton of much needed excitement. J’ouvert or Jouvay originated around the time of emancipation in Trinidad when, finally as free men, the people were able to participate in masquerade festivals. The former slaves embraced the carnival festival as a celebration of freedom. There are conflicting theories on the story behind painting the body. One theory is that the body was pasted with mud, paint and covered with powder for the slaves/former slaves to imitate the behaviour of the landowners at their masquerade festivals. One theory is the tradition is carried forward in remembrance of civil disobedience in Trinidad when the people pasted themselves with paint and oil to avoid being recognized. Most of us in Belize don’t know the reasons behind smearing ourselves but we surely have embraced Jouvay as a celebration of freedom and free spirit.

No pay for Julius Espat
Readers will remember when PUP’s Julius Espat was forcibly ejected from the House of Representatives for behaving like a spoilt child one time too many, disobeying the Standing Orders, getting into a shouting match with House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte, and disrespecting him. Well, for his suspension from the House, his constituency paycheck has been cut. If he thought that there would be no consequences for his disregard of rules, he certainly got a rude awakening when an official letter from Clerk of the National Assembly landed on his desk on Wednesday, September 14. In it, Eddie Webster, writes, “Please be informed that on August 26, 2016, at the House of Representatives Meeting of the National Assembly, Hon. Julius Espat, Member for Cayo South, was suspended. Therefore, no payment is due to Hon. Espat until there is a resolution of the House in accordance with Section 44(7) of the Standing Orders…”

Who will the 13th Senator represent?
The People’s United Party and Luke Palacio are at this point in time pushing for the selection or election of a 13th Senator. The BNTU sent the Prime Minister a letter asking for as much and the PUP have on countless occasions demanded this. In response to the request by the BNTU the Prime Minister replied like this: “The 13th Senator cannot be named at least until rules governing the modalities for selection have been worked out.” But more than the modalities being worked out, we need to ask ourselves, who will this 13th senator represent?Already there is representation by the Churches, the Unions, and the Business Community. So the question is who will the 13th Senator represent? How will that person be selected? Will it be by nomination or by election? We can see that the other senators have a base of people who they represent but it would be interesting to find out what base of people will the 13th senator represent.

How will the Special Select Senate Committee be formed?
With all that is being said about the proposed composition of the proposed Special Senate Committee we had to go and do our research as to the legality of those proposals. We have heard some persons who are LEGALLY TRAINED misquote the law. Some have even used some nonexistent laws to try and advance their misinformed arguments. Then there are those persons who like parrots just go with what they hear and repeat it to turn into a chorus.The information we found during our research was so easy to find . All we did was enter the words “Senate of Belize Standing Orders” in our search engine and hit the search button on our computer. In other words we GOOGLED it. By the way those fancy CELLPHONES that many of us have become accustomed to as either a fashion statement or an appendage to our elite status will give the same result . Our next step was to download and READ that information. Yes READ, that word that appears to be so much of a stranger to those brilliant legally trained persons we mentioned before. Starting at rule number 69 (1) and ending at 70 (3), was where we found the relevant section of the Standing Order that deals with the formulation and constituting of a Special Select Committee and we have included it below.

Social partners matter - PM meets with unions
Proving that the UDP Government values its relationship with the Social Partners, the Prime Minister has held back-to-back meetings with 6 different unions. 8 Days before he sat down and spoke with the leaders of the Churches, and it was decided that the Government will appeal the Section 53 judgment by the Chief Justice. That’s the famous decision which now allows for gay intimacy, among other consensual acts in the bedroom, to be decriminalized.The Government has made it abundantly clear that it will not appeal the substantive judgment, because it does not believe it is in the public interest to do so. By the act of appealing the decision, however, it allows for interested parties, namely the Roman Catholic Church, and the Evangelicals, to challenge the judgment itself. The Utility Unions, the Belize Energy Workers Union, the Belize Communication Workers Union, and the Belize Water Services Workers Union, were in solidarity with the Evangelical Churches, who had been demanding that the Government appeal. Now that the Barrow Administration has decided to do so, the Prime Minister sought an audience out with them on Friday, September 16. He no doubt communicated this to them directly, and he addressed whatever inquiries they may have had.

Love FM can’t count?
Love FM does a headcount using Shakron Mathematics. Under that system, which will henceforth be known as Shakromatics, 1+1 = 4 and some times 5, 6, 7, 8 or and other numbers, depending on who is counting, what time of the day is it? What occasion it is and how the count will affect the PUP? We don’t know if Rene was taught Shakromatics in the short time he spent at the gravesite of George Price along with the PUP Parliamentarians on Monday but he and his staff certainly learned quickly, and within a few minutes did their first test and passed with flying color when they reported that the PUP/BNTU demonstration had some 2000 teachers in attendance. That figure changed by news time about 2 hours later, to be ‘in the thousands.’

Carlton Belisle remanded for attempted murder
Hattieville resident Carlton Belisle is at the Belize Central Prison on remand after he was arraigned for robbing and trying to kill Francisco Reyes. Allegations are that Belisle took away a Samsung cellular phone valued at $255 from Reyes on August 5, 2016 and attacked him with a machete later that same day. The injuries to Reyes were serious and life threatening; therefore, Belisle was arrested for attempted murder.In court on Monday, September 19, Belisle was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser for charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, dangerous harm and robbery upon Francisco Reyes. Belisle was unrepresented when he appeared in court and pleaded not guilty to the charges. Due to the nature of the offenses, bail was denied. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until November 22, 2016.

Cop shoots gun during carnival
Rookie police constable #1804 Kris Staine will face a police disciplinary tribunal for discharging his firearm in public during the Carnival Road March on Saturday, September 17. Staine is being accused by the Police Department of discharging his licensed Sig Sauer 9 mm pistol “without just cause”. PC Staine is the off duty police officer who was on Princess Margaret Drive during the carnival who the department alleges pulled out his licensed gun and fired a shot in the air, causing public terror. Staine claims he fired the shot because the area was getting out of control with a hostile group throwing bottles.

Jason Garcia pleads guilty to assault and damage to property
Jason Belisle/Garcia, 34, is lucky to be out on the streets after he pleaded guilty to common assault and damage to the property of Maurice Middleton before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday, September 19. Middleton reported to police that he got into an argument with Belisle at his home on Pelican Street Extension when Jason hit him in the back of the head and stomach. When he fell to the ground, Jason kicked him to the body. Fearing for his life, Middleton ran away to report the incident to police. While at the police station making a report, he received a text from Belisle saying, “I just want you to know yuh have no reason coming back to this house cause I burn up everything so kiss everything good bye.” He showed the officer the text and a mobile unit visited the house where they saw smoke coming from inside. An officer entered and saw a laptop on fire. She asked Belisle who set the laptop on fire and he said, “I burn up everything.” As a result, he was arrested and charged with common assault and damage to property.

Justin Hyde out on bail
Justin Hyde, 21, has been rearrested for major charges that were withdrawn against him in August of this year. On the weekend of Friday, April 17, 2015, a gunman forced himself into the home of Wendy Lambey on Curl Thompson Street and opened fire indiscriminately. According to Lambey, she was home with relatives when she heard the sound of gunshots coming from the veranda. She then realized that her 18-year-old son and his friend, Aaron Munnings, were being chased by a gunman. Her son and his friend ran inside for cover but that did not stop the gunman who chased behind them into the house and unleashed a barrage of bullets. Lambey was shot in both of her legs. She and Munnings were rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where both were treated and released for gunshot injuries.

Man arrested for the Crime of Rape
As we had reported last week, a teenaged Belizean accompanied by her mother, both of Santa Familia Village, Cayo District, visited the police station to report that she was raped. The minor reported to police that on Tuesday 6th September 2016 about 2:00 pm Edric Alexander Cruz, whom she had met in the area of Dibary Store on Burns Avenue, offered her a ride on his blue motor cycle. The 40 year old male took her to her sister’s residence in the vicinity of Rolson’s Cocina and Cantina Restaurant as he was headed in the same direction. The 17 year old female further stated that her transporter passed the entrance to her intended stop and took her instead to an area she knows as Mosquito Ville. It was in Mosquito Ville where Edric Cruz stopped in front of his green and red cement house. He then took her inside where he took off her clothing and forced her unto a bed in the living room area and had sex with her against her will.

Six teams qualify so far for the XXVI National Women’s Softball Championship
The Belize Softball Federation is pleased to inform the softball community and the general public that the XXVI National Women’s Softball Championship will be played from September 30 – October 2, 2016, at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize.The National Softball Championship is played between the champions and sub-champions of the Affiliated Associations that make up the Belize Softball Federation.The teams that have qualified so far for the XXVI National Women’s Softball Championship includes: Belize Rural ( Easy Does It from Flowers Bank and UB Jaguars), Cayo Softball Association ( Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Unitedville Rebels United) and from the Stann Creek Association ( Independence United and Silk Grass Royale Girlz).

Independence United is Stann Creek Association Softball champions
The Stann Creek Softball Association 2016 came to an end on Sunday 18th September out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, Stann Creek District.In the championship game played, Independence United blasted Silk Grass Royale Girlz by the score of 19-4 in three innings to capture the Stann Creek Softball Association 2016 championship. The winning pitcher was Desiree Gordon and the losing pitcher was Sandy Depaz.In game four while playing from the losers’ bracket, Independence United out-scored the previously undefeated Silk Grass Royale Girlz by the score of 12 to 5 to force a game 5. The winning pitcher was Desiree Gordon in relief of Kern Andrews who pitched 4 innings while giving out 5 runs.

Amandala

Militant teachers bring heat on Barrow!
The inclement weather hanging over the country did not deter the thousands of teachers who stayed out of their classrooms this morning, to send home the message of their discontent with the United Democratic Party government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, which has failed to convince them to accept a deferral of the three percent salary adjustment that had previously been agreed upon between the BNTU leadership and the government.The mood in Belmopan was made more somber by the weather and the presence of a large detachment of police, made up mostly of recruits from the police’s training school, that stood as a barrier between the protesters and the National Assembly building after the teachers held their rally inside the Belmopan Civic Center, which overflowed outside with hundreds of teachers under tents set up for the occasion, before they marched onto the steps of the National Assembly building, where the peaceful protest ended shortly after 1:00 p.m.

Debbie Humes succumbs to her injuries
The Soca Mocah carnival band, comprised of about 160 members, is the Senior Category defending Carnival Road March 2015 Champion.This year, however, members of the band had tears in their eyes, as they mourned the death of their fellow dancer and member, Debbie Humes, 39, of Belize City, who was killed less than 20 hours before the much-anticipated Carnival Road March 2016 when she was crushed beneath the home of Marsha Smith on Dolphin Street (the meeting spot for the band) after the house collapsed, trapping about 20 to 25 revelers under it.The victims suffered varying degrees of injuries to their arms, heads, ankles and legs. Four were seriously injured, including Debbie Humes, a senior dancer who later died as a result of her injuries.

Howell Longsworth, UDP stalwart turned pastor
This is a short story of politician turned pastor, Pastor Howell Longsworth, who has a history of attracting controversy.After the UDP’s Derek Aikman was expelled from his Freetown seat in the House of Representatives in late 1992 on the grounds of bankruptcy, Howell Longsworth, a businessman, was anointed his successor.However, many political pundits believed that Longsworth’s entrance to politics came at the expense of Aikman, who many believe was targeted not really because of bankruptcy, but because of his opposition to the Maritime Areas Bill which the ruling PUP had proposed, and the Opposition UDP had also supported.In international law, Belize is allowed to claim twelve miles of territorial waters. However, in the Maritime Areas Bill, Belize would only claim three miles, allowing Guatemala and Honduras access to the seas down south as an incentive to Guatemala for them to recognize our independence and territorial integrity.

PUP parliamentarians surrender financial statements to the Integrity Commission office
The Opposition People’s United Party celebrated National Service Day, today, Monday, September 19, by first laying wreaths on the tomb of the late PUP Leader, Rt. Hon. George Price, who died five years ago today, and from the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City, a convoy of PUP parliamentarians journeyed to Belmopan and further honored the legacy and spirit of Price by declaring their assets and liabilities at the Integrity Commission office, staffed by its secretary, because government has not appointed an Integrity Commission. The idea of an Integrity Commission came about during the reform of governance that was undertaken when Belize signed into law the Prevention of Corruption in Public life Act in 2007. Since the signing of the Prevention of Corruption Act, however, there has never been an Integrity Commission appointed.

Sarstoon Island challenge concludes successfully
The Sarstoon Island Eco Challenge which was partially carried out by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by Wil Maheia, a nationalist, civic leader and businessman of Punta Gorda, was held on Saturday, September 17, and it was hailed as a success.About 500 people converged at Barranco, and at about 9:00 that morning, about 50 people in kayaks and canoes lined up at the wharf to participate in the Sarstoon Island Challenge.Wil Maheia said that the challenge was to paddle from Barranco to Sarstoon Island, paddle around the island and back to Barranco, a journey of about 8 miles. Prizes were presented to the top 5 finishers in each category.Maheia told us that the Eco Tourism Challenge was designed as a tour for Belizeans to see the eco-tourism benefits of the Sarstoon Island, to familiarize Belizeans with the island, since it is a part of the Jewel, and to test the weight of the agreement for peace between Guatemala and Belize in the Sarstoon area.

Woodrow West’s Honduras Progreso earns dramatic 2-1 home win
As bad as things were last Tuesday for Police United at the FFB Stadium, with their 11-0 shellacking from Mexico’s Pachuca in Group E, we have been keeping an eye on our home boy, Woodrow West, who is the starting goalkeeper for Honduras Progreso in Group A of the Scotiabank/CONCACAF Champions League 2016-2017. And the news is much better with Woodrow, whose H. Progreso is still in contention for the top spot in Group A.Group A includes W. Connection of Trinidad & Tobago, Pumas of Mexico and H. Progreso of Honduras. Pumas had beaten H. Progreso 2-0 in Mexico. But last Thursday night, September 15, as we were going to press, H. Progreso, after being down 1-0, rebounded to defeat Pumas, 2-1, in Honduras. Pumas, still has the edge, having beaten W. Connection 4-2 in Trinidad, while H. Progreso only managed a 1-1 draw with W. Connection in Trinidad. Nevertheless, it was a great victory for West and H. Progreso in front of their Honduran fans.

The Jewel at 35
It is said that when the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) demonstrate on Monday morning, September 19, in Belmopan to emphasize its different areas of dissatisfaction with the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) government, it would be the fifth such demonstration in the capital city against the Dean Barrow administration within the last month.The government of Rt. Hon. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is under fire on several fronts, but none of the demonstrations have yet featured the size and ferocity of those which shook the People’s United Party (PUP) government of Prime Minister Said Musa in late 2004 and early 2005. In late 2004/early 2005, there was one overriding issue, which was the abusive, corrupt handling of Belize’s public finances, as exposed at the Social Security Board (SSB) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC).It is notable, if not surprising, that within the now Opposition PUP there is still an extremist fringe which claims that all things blue would still be bright and beautiful had it not been for the challenge to the Musa administration by 7 Cabinet Ministers in August of 2004. Those 7 PUP Cabinet Ministers, incidentally, included the present PUP Leader, John Briceño, and his National Deputy Leader, Cordel Hyde. At the time of the so-called G-7, Mr. Briceño was the Deputy Leader of the PUP, and Deputy Prime Minister of Belize.

Mario Lara talks about Sarstoon Island Eco Challenge experience
On Saturday, September 17, 2016, I was happy to be back home in the land of my birth and proud to be able to stand up in peaceful solidarity with the Belize Territorial Volunteers. Several months ago, fed up with the lack of robust support the Belize Territorial Volunteers was getting, the divisive politics in Belize and the lackadaisical attitude of Belize’s Ministry of Foreign affairs as it relates to the national issue of defending Belize’s territorial integrity, I decided to become more involved, as a non-partisan Belizean living in the Diaspora. After writing to my congressman and protesting with other Belizeans living abroad in front of the Guatemalan consulate in Los Angeles, I decided that it wasn’t enough to protest from afar and so I took it a step further and created a go-fund-me account to raise funds to stage a peace rally in Belize and encourage as many Belizeans as possible to peacfully assert Belize’s territorial integrity by visiting Sarstoon Island.

No injuries during Carnival Road March, say police
A shot was fired by an off-duty policeman on Princess Margaret Drive during the 2016 Carnival Road March that was held in the city on Saturday, September 17.The incident occurred at about 5:30 that Saturday afternoon. When the shot was fired, there was mass confusion and panic among the spectators, and there was even panic among the carnival revelers. Police who were nearby quickly addressed the situation and arrested the policeman.However, no one was injured.The policeman reported that he fired a warning shot in the air because, while watching the carnival, he was attacked by two men who were throwing bottles at him.

Sarstoon Island challenge concludes successfully
The Sarstoon Island Eco Challenge which was partially carried out by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by Wil Maheia, a nationalist, civic leader and businessman of Punta Gorda, was held on Saturday, September 17, and it was hailed as a success.About 500 people converged at Barranco, and at about 9:00 that morning, about 50 people in kayaks and canoes lined up at the wharf to participate in the Sarstoon Island Challenge.Wil Maheia said that the challenge was to paddle from Barranco to Sarstoon Island, paddle around the island and back to Barranco, a journey of about 8 miles. Prizes were presented to the top 5 finishers in each category.Maheia told us that the Eco Tourism Challenge was designed as a tour for Belizeans to see the eco-tourism benefits of the Sarstoon Island, to familiarize Belizeans with the island, since it is a part of the Jewel, and to test the weight of the agreement for peace between Guatemala and Belize in the Sarstoon area.

PUP parliamentarians surrender financial statements to the Integrity Commission office
The Opposition People’s United Party celebrated National Service Day, today, Monday, September 19, by first laying wreaths on the tomb of the late PUP Leader, Rt. Hon. George Price, who died five years ago today, and from the Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City, a convoy of PUP parliamentarians journeyed to Belmopan and further honored the legacy and spirit of Price by declaring their assets and liabilities at the Integrity Commission office, staffed by its secretary, because government has not appointed an Integrity Commission. The idea of an Integrity Commission came about during the reform of governance that was undertaken when Belize signed into law the Prevention of Corruption in Public life Act in 2007. Since the signing of the Prevention of Corruption Act, however, there has never been an Integrity Commission appointed.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Financial Secretary addresses state of nation’s finances on eve of Independence Day
At court today, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, who gave a deposition on behalf of the Government for the CCJ’s B.T.L. arbitration hearing, gave tough answers to critical questions on the state of the Belizean economy and the ever-expanding debt obligations that Belize must meet. […]

Dunkeld Investments and G.O.B. told to work out BTL arbitration dispute
Work it out! That is what a three-judge panel of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) advised the attorneys representing Dunkeld International Investments and the Government of Belize to do with all possible speed after listening to two hours of arguments by video-conference between […]

Belize Makes Strong Statement at the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit
Belize made a strong statement to 120 Member States, and 18 International Organizations and Observer Countries at the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit.Today Belize called on Member States to hold to the 2030 Development Agenda agreed at the United Nations in 2015. Minister of […]

Farmers affected by Earl get literal seed capital
The International Regional Organization for Health in Agriculture (OIRSA) on Friday handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development 82 packs of hybrid tomato and sweet pepper seeds as support to the small farmers that were affected by the […]

The Belize Progressive Party calls on the PUP to pay “POCA Fines”
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP), in a press release, described the People’s United Party’s (PUP) declaration of assets as “a classic case of concocted deception”. In the release sent out this morning, the BPP says the PUP’s actions only touched a part of the entire picture.The BPP accuses the PUP of making the gesture purely for political expediency given the full scope of matters as it relates to the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA).The party quoted Section 19 (1) a – c and (2) (1) a – c of the POCA and believe that the PUP, by way of this latest show, has fallen far short of their legal obligation.“In effect, they ‘forgot’ to pay their dues! The math is simple: $100 is assessed for every day you are late in declaring your assets. There is also a $3,000 and $5,000 fine for first and second offenses. Certainly they have not forgotten this, for it was the PUP who amended the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA) in 2007,” the BPP said.

The sound of the music of Belize
Friday night’s SoundFest was a critical success but likely a commercial failure in that attendance was poor but the music, man the music was great, the best I have heard live from a Belizean stage in some time.I do not know for sure but I was told it was broadcast on KREM TV so some of you reading this may have gotten to view and listen to some of the performances. I am one of those people who think that the real power of the art of music making is in the live experience though. A recording and a broadcast is a form of the art filtered through a medium and it dulls and removes some of the primal, atavistic response elicited from your being when you hear/feel the notes vibrated/blended together directly from voices/instruments. But that’s just me.

Blogs

The Only Drama I Want in My Life is on TV
This post goes out as a wise bit of advice to everyone who came for a Belize vacation, fell in love with Ambergris Caye and started thinking about how they could move here. Ambergris is a colorful, funky island with friendly people. It is no surprise that people would instantly fall in love and want to relocate here. I did after one 3 week vacation no less. But it is not all fun in the sun and boat rides. Just like any small town, this island can be very “Peyton Place.” There are people out there (just like everywhere) who are drama magnets and like to spread false gossip. Unfortunately that sometimes means that people who are trying to mind their own business and playing “by the rules” get caught in the crossfire. Having lived here 10.5 years at the time I am writing this post I can say I have witnessed a lot of that kind of craziness over the years. Thankfully for the most part I have managed to be a spectator and not a participant.

13 Reasons Why You Should Never, Ever Bring Your Kids to Belize!
As a parent, you’re zealous about monitoring what your kids see and do in today’s crazy world; it’s your job to help them steer clear of experiences that could damage them for life. We’re concerned too, and feel it only right that we inform you about reasons you should never bring your children here. Consider all of them and we’re sure you’ll agree that taking them on vacation to Belize is the worst idea you’ve ever had!1. If you leave them home, you’ll protect them from having nightmares you’re pretty sure will result from taking them to Mayan hot spots were crystal skeletons, bones and creepy vestiges of Belize’s historical past await. You don’t want to expose them to ancient civilizations, right?2. Dining out could be a horrific experience if you bring your children to Belize! This many tastes, smells and culinary sensations could, heaven forbid, turn them into mini-gourmands who refuse to eat frozen pizza and peanut butter once their palates are exposed our delicious and tasty foods.3. Don’t let your kids anywhere near Belize’s bounty of marine wildlife. It’s ever so much more important to keep your kids in the dark about marine biology so they continue to grow up believing that Flipper, Nemo and Sponge Bob are real.

The Many Faces of Belize Carnival
Rice and beans is considered by many as the foundation of Belizean Cuisine. Typically served with your choice of meat and served with a side of potato salad/cole slaw and fried plantains, you’re sure to find this savoury dish being served in households, restaurants and food stalls across Belize. Cooked in coconut milk to delectable perfection, rice and beans is a dish prepared with both skill and passion. While it doesn’t take a renowned culinary chef to make it, Belizeans of almost every culture have added their unique spin to this dish that is sought after by both international travelers and locals alike. If you're a foodie like us, you'll be sure to enjoy our cooking guide to making Belizean Rice & Beans:

Your Belize Cooking Guide - How To Make Belizean Rice & Beans
One of the biggest September Celebrations events took place in Belize City this past weekend (September 17th, 2015) - the annual Carnival Road March, which surely did not disappoint fans who lined the streets of the “Old Capital” to witness the celebration. Just in case you missed it, here are our picks for the Many Faces of Belize Carnival 2016:

The Ix Chel Villas at Chaa Creek: A New Standard For Luxurious Belizean Accommodations
For over 35 years the Lodge at Chaa Creek has evolved slowly and organically, growing from a few simple thatch-roofed cottages to become one of Belize’s most universally acclaimed and highly awarded eco-resorts.Along the way we’ve taken pride in demonstrating, time and again, that environmental sustainability and responsible tourism can coexist with the highest degrees of comfort, quality and service.And now, an exciting new addition to our wide range of lodgings is setting new standards of excellence for luxury accommodations in a natural setting.The new Ix Chel Villas take everything we’ve learned over the years to a whole new level of understated elegance by marrying contemporary Green technology with a fresh, yet distinctively Belizean design.Nestled on a verdant bank overlooking the Macal River Valley, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and doors providing private, sweeping 180° views of the surrounding rainforest, the Ix Chel Villas offer a serene sensory experience that is guaranteed to soothe the body and invigorate the spirit.

International Sourcesizz

A new doc investigates murder allegations against John McAfee and finds chilling answers
“Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee,” which recently had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will air on Showtime September 24, is a revealing look at McAfee’s time in Belize from the locals who were there alongside him, and some who allegedly followed through on violent acts ordered by McAfee — including murder.In “Gringo,” Burstein goes to Belize and gains the trust of McAfee’s associates, members of his security detail, and numerous women to learn of McAfee’s alleged involvement in not just the Faull case but other crimes.McAfee (who has contributed to Business Insider in the past) declined to be filmed for the movie but Burstein does include correspondence the two had via email.“I’ve always been fascinated by people who are under the spotlight of coming from fame, money, power, and how that affects them,” Burstein told Business Insider at TIFF. “So John is someone I read about when he was escaping to Guatemala, and there was tons of press, but I still had a lot to learn. There were a lot of surprises along the way.”

GRINGO DIGS DEEP INTO JOHN MCAFEE’S HEART OF DARKNESS
THERE’S A SCENE early in Nanette Burstein’s documentary Gringo: The Dangerous Life of John McAfee where the antivirus-pioneer-turned-fugitive-turned-presidential-candidate rides his boat down a river in the jungles of Belize and tells the cameraman: “Get ready for some serious Heart of Darkness shit here.”The McAfee-as-Colonel-Kurtz imagery is nothing new, but the revelations in Burstein’s film make them harder than ever to ignore. That’s especially true considering MGT Capital Investments recently announced plans to bring on the “eccentric millionaire” as CEO, meaning McAfee, who fled Belize four years ago as authorities sought to question him following the murder of his neighbor, is now back in the public consciousness.Burstein says she began researching McAfee after she read Joshua Davis’ December 2012 profile in WIRED. “I’m fascinated with people that are gifted and smart and wealthy and powerful, that have, at times, crossed the line,” says Burstein, who has made acclaimed documentaries about both Robert Evans and Tonya Harding. “I became riveted, and then I became obsessed. And I uncovered things I never expected to uncover.”

France just became the first country to ban all plastic plates, cups, and utensils
France just passed a law that says all plastic plates, cups, and utensils will be banned by 2020, and replacements will need to be made from biologically sourced materials that can be composted.The new law follows a total ban on plastic shopping bags in July, and is part of the country’s Energy Transition for Green Growth Act - a plan to make France a world leader in adopting more environmentally friendly practices, and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.With 4.73 billion plastic goblets discarded in France in 2015 alone, and roughly 17 billion plastic bags used annually in supermarkets around the country, the new laws will hopefully put an end to France’s dependence on disposable plastic wares.According to the new law, the distribution of disposable plastic bags at supermarket check-outs has been banned as of July, and plastic bags will be prohibited in fruit and vegetable departments from 1 January 2017.A ban on the distribution of disposable cooking utensils, cups, and plates will be enforced in 2020, which will give manufacturers time to adjust.

Belize in Top 7 Adventure Tour Destinations for 2017
Belize is ranked 3rd in Stride Magazine's Top 7 Adventure Tour Destinations for 2017. Cayo's Xunantunich and Caracol are mentioned. "Belize has been a ‘go to’ destination for years among American retirees looking to settle down in a friendly and warm country close to home. But you don’t need to wait for retirement to take advantage of Belize’s world-class snorkeling and scuba diving. A guided tour will ensure you gain access to the top snorkeling and diving spots like the Lighthouse Reef atoll, home to the famous Blue Hole. A tour guide will also provide local insights and historical context when visiting places like the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich and Caracol."

Videos

  • "El Canti" Belize Jaguar - Birmingham Zoo Wildlife Conservation Outreach, 5min. Birmingham Zoo Special Projects Manager Terra Manasco ventures to the jungles of southern Belize as a key participant in a jaguar conservation study.

  • Belize Carnival Road March 2016, 13min. The carnival road march is the most anticipated event in September as part of our celebration that leads up to our independence day here in Belize. A day when the Caribbean flavor of the Country is in full effect. From the music, the colorful costumes the dancing and the people there is a big party on the streets of Belize. If you're a local or a visitor you must be a witness to the amazing carnival day in the Belize

  • 2016 Belize Trip Highlights, 6min. Our mission team got the opportunity to minister to the people of Belize. Here is a video of some of the highlights of the trip.

  • MIKADO STORE, 1min.

  • San Pedro Independence Fireworks from last night!, 1/2min.

  • 2016 Independence Celebrations in San Pedro, 11min.

  • Best of Belize, 6min. Historical video

  • Caye Caulker Island Belize Tours, 14min. Caye Caulker Belize Tours. Caye Caulker, located 21 miles northeast of Belize City and 11 miles south of Ambergris Caye, is the second largest of the Belizean cayes.

  • CARNIVAL, 4min.

  • Belize Social Investment Fund, Aguacate Water System, 4min. Belize Social Investment Fund Aguacate Water System in Toledo, Belize Central America

  • Timelapse Stars and Clouds, 10sec. View of the night sky from the house we rented in Belize

  • 2016 Carnival King & Queen Competition in Belize, 4min. Carnival King & Queen Competition 2016 at Marion Jones Stadium, Belize City ( Saturday, 3 September,2016)

  • Belize Day 4: Chris and Leah Adventure to Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Feathers., 5.5min. Chris and Leah go from Ian Anderson’s Cave’s Branch to Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Belize. It took two car taxis and a boat taxi to get to Diana’s Air BnB residence: Feathers.

  • Belize Carnival Parade, 3min.

  • Tour of San Pedro, Belize Part 1, 4min.

  • Tour of San Pedro, Belize Part 2, 7min.

  • Tour of San Pedro, Belize Part 3, 2min.

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